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Charles Darwin School

Design and Technology

Course Overview

Design and Technology is an exciting and active subject that allows all pupils to get stuck-in to designing and making things. The world around us is full of products that have all been carefully designed and skilfully produced. This vital and academic subject allows young people the opportunity to deconstruct everyday products and learn why and how they look and function the way they do. Using this knowledge we teach the skills to design and make your own products in a wide range of materials such as wood, metal, plastic, card, and even food!
Designing is about making choices. This may be how something looks or works or tastes. Good designers create amazing products that we love to use, own and eat. Technology gives us the means to create our designs whether it is traditional woodworking, modelling from scrap materials, using a laser cutter or electronics to name but a few. With good teaching and learning you will start with the basics in year 7 and work your way to designing and making products of your own in year 11, 12 and 13.

The faculty is staffed with experienced and senior teachers who teach Design and technology with passion and enthusiasm. A wide variety of skills and specialisms within teachers is complimented by friendly and knowledgeable technicians who support learning.

• In Year 7 and 8 pupils are introduced to the subject. The focus is on Health and Safety as they move through projects in a range of materials (wood, plastics, metal, CAD, CAM and food). The focus is to teach young pupils to work safely and experience designing and making in a wide range of areas.

• In Year 9 pupils opt for BTEC Design and Technology (100% coursework) or GCSE Product Design (60% coursework and 40% exam). Once pupils have opted for Design and Technology we focus on equipping pupils with the knowledge, skills and understanding to research, design, prototype, test, modify and evaluate a range of products. Recently our GCSE had an 89% A*-C pass rate.

• In Sixth Form pupils can opt for A-Level in Product Design (50% coursework and 50% exam). This course allows pupils to explore design and manufacturing in a global context. Year 13 coursework allows pupils to explore areas of their own interest in the production of coursework. This allows enthusiastic pupils to be ambitious with the product they choose to design which can lead pupils into university and college courses and apprenticeships. Recent pupils have left Charles Darwin School to study Aeronautical Engineering, Architecture and Engineering.

Click here for Design & Technology  curriculum mapping

Why choose the subject? 

  • Learn to express yourself creatively
  • Learn to problem solve and research
  • Experiment with a range of materials like woods, metals, plastics, card, paper, smart materials, electronics and food
  • Try out new ideas and develop your making skills
  • Develop your creative skills
  • Have an opportunity to learn and use practical, life skills
  • Work in a different way to many subjects using hand skills, workshop tools and equipment, wide range of materials and new technologies such as a laser cutting machine and 3D printer.


Q. When will we start to make things?
A. In your first weeks in year7 and throughout your time in D&T.

Q. Do we have to write anything?
A. Of course! D&T is about more than just making things. We will also research and analyse products, materials and techniques. You will needs marks from a range of skills – not just making!

Q. What if I cannot draw?
A. We believe everyone can draw and so it’s about having a go! Of course we will help you but in D&T it’s about communicating your ideas – not how good you are at drawing - so relax…

Q. What jobs are there in D&T?
A. There are loads of jobs that D&T will help you with. Being an electrician, plumber, carpenter, builder and many, many more jobs involve practical skills that you will experience in lesson. Going to university to study a type of design that interests you would be amazing – everything we can see around us has been designed by someone!

Who will teach me? 

Mr Baker, Mr Dunn, Ms Tsang, Ms Sheehan,

Useful Links 

Sam Learning
Technology Student
BBC Bitesize
Design Museum
Horniman Musuem
Guggenheim Musuem